Survey findings

Summary of findings:

NABS and Mind’s survey of 576 UK advertising and media industry employees found:

  • 64% of respondents say they have considered leaving the industry at some point because their wellbeing was being affected by their work
  • 36% say their mental health over the past 12 months has been either poor or very poor
  • 60% say work has had a negative impact on their wellbeing over the past 12 months
  • 46% say they wouldn’t feel comfortable talking to their line manager if work was having a negative impact on their mental health
  • 33% say their senior leadership team doesn’t encourage positive workplace wellbeing within their organisation
  • 26% say they have a long term mental health condition

The UK advertising and media industry is at a risk of staff burnout as 63% say they’ve considered leaving the industry at some point due to work negatively impacting their wellbeing. The industry could lose a generation as 77% of those surveyed are aged under 40.

Research performed by NABS and Mind also found that 36% of respondents say their mental health has been either ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ over the past 12 months; whilst over a quarter (26%) of those surveyed report having a long term mental health condition.

Yet only half of respondents said they would feel comfortable talking to their line manager if they felt work was having a negative impact on their mental health.

The research was performed by the two charities in a joint effort to gain a snapshot of the state of the mental health of the industry.

NABS CEO, Diana Tickell said: “It’s been encouraging to see many of our industry’s leaders responding to concerns around industry wellbeing. But this research gives us the clearest indication yet that we’re still simply not doing enough to care for the mental health of our teams, and much more remains to be done.

“We’ve seen this reflected on NABS’ Advice Line; where almost a third of all the calls we receive (30%) are from those seeking emotional support. It’s vital, not only for employee wellbeing, but the success of our industry, that we train our managers and leaders to better identify and support the mental health of their teams. 33% of respondents felt their senior leadership team doesn’t encourage workplace wellbeing within their organisation. We must work together to put this on the very top of everyone’s agenda in adland.”

Emma Mamo, Head of Workplace Wellbeing at Mind, said: “Regardless of profession, Mind knows that workplace stress and mental health problems are common. It’s vital that employers – no matter how small – also have good support in place for all staff, including those experiencing unmanageable stress or poor mental health.

“We want employers to create an environment where staff feel able to openly talk about stress and poor mental health at work, including any issues they’re facing – whether personal, professional or a combination.”

In response to the issues raised in the survey, NABS recently launched their SHEPARD Model for Wellbeing, featuring the seven elements that make up good wellbeing: Satisfaction, Health, Emotions, Perceptions, Awareness, Rewards and Diversity. They will be launching a series of services in 2018 designed to support industry wellbeing.

Employees and employers can also find information and practical steps to promote wellbeing, tackle stress and poor mental health at work by visiting Mind.